This chapter discusses a dialogue on race within a choral classroom at a predominately White tertiary institution. Student responses further centered White dominance and resonates with relevant literature. A review of collective and secondary trauma reveals symptoms similar to the choral classroom scenario.
The chapter emphasizes the importance of traumatic content as a pedagogical imperative. Critical pedagogy may be blocked by the psychological impact of difficult knowledge. Unfortunately, White students' amygdalas––a defensive region of the brain––may override their ability to cognitively process stressful and even self-incriminating discussions around the racialized murder of Black men, for instance. Subjective educational frameworks and mindful approaches may help settle bodies before dialogue.
Finally, the traditional choral paradigm is explored as a cite of doing without deep reflection. Retooled, group singing can settle the bodies before dialogue. Improvisation is traditionally ignored in the choral space, yet, it allows for group subjectivity rather than tropes of “universality.” In addition to experiencing superficial emotional landscapes, music spaces may be opened to allow participants to critically travel with each other's pain and trauma.